I read on :

https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/world.php (-> Costa Rica):

Costa Rica. > Published 15.10.2020.

  1. Passengers are not allowed to enter.
  • This does not apply to:


  • residents of the following states of the United States: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C. and Wyoming;

How does one prove one's residency to a given US state when flying to Costa Rica?

  • 5
    Essentially all people resident in the US have state-issued identification, whether it is a driver license or an equivalent non-driver state identification. Surely they would just ask? "Where do you live?" "Uh, Connectichusetts?" "Can I see your state ID?" Oct 18, 2020 at 23:20
  • 5
    @GregHewgill I don't have the exact stats, but some citizens lacking state IDs is the reason why voting ID laws are currently controversial. But of course these people are probably not flying to Costa Rica.
    – JonathanReez
    Oct 19, 2020 at 0:20
  • 4
    @FranckDernoncourt - “I can keep my driving ID even if I don't reside in the US state that issued my driving ID“ - While this statement is technically true, it is misleading. You can physically retain possession of a state issued drivers license or ID when you leave that state. But, after 30 days, that DL/ID becomes invalid for most states. Most states have a requirement that the address shown on your DL/ID must be your permanent address of residency on record. If you change addresses, you have to update your DL/ID within the state mandated time limit. Otherwise, it becomes invalid.
    – Dean F.
    Oct 19, 2020 at 1:10
  • 3
    @DeanF. that is a complex subject. I.e. California requires a lot of paperwork to stop being a resident, simply moving out for 30 days without establishing permanent residency is not sufficient. I think it would be a great Law.SE question!
    – JonathanReez
    Oct 19, 2020 at 5:05
  • 3
    @DeanF. in reality people moving and not updating their ID for more than a month happens all the time, regardless of what you are 'supposed' to do. it rarely becomes an issue (until you need to renew registration or something like that), even if you get pulled over by police (who will most likely treat it as a valid license regardless of what the law technically says).
    – eps
    Oct 19, 2020 at 14:33

1 Answer 1


From the Costa Rica Tourism Board:

Passengers coming from the U.S. must show through their driver’s license or state identification (State ID) that they live in one of the authorized states. This requirement excludes children travelling with their family. This requirement will be necessary until Nov. 1.

Note that drivers' licenses are issued by the individual states in the US, not by any sort of federal agency, and they generally list the holder's home address.

After November 1, all US citizens & residents will be welcome to Costa Rica regardless of their place of residence.

  • 2
    Just to observe that a 'citizen' and a 'resident' are two different things.
    – Strawberry
    Oct 19, 2020 at 10:50

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